Geographical Heroes – An Introduction

Over the coming months I will be writing about key people who are, or have been, involved in geography, exploration or adventure in one way or another. There are so many interesting people that have explored the world, made new discoveries, added to human knowledge of the world and even broken records while doing so. Many of these people are explicitly linked to the study of geography, others often have more indirect links.

When teaching I used to set my students a challenge to try and find me something that was not connected to geography, and I have yet to be beaten in this challenge. Feel free to contact me if you think you have something, I always enjoy a good challenge.

But because of this the people I choose to write about might not be the first people that come to mind when you think of geography!

The idea is to highlight how geography and geographical skills have been used by a wide variety of people throughout history, and across the globe. If you have a geography hero and want them to be included here do get in touch.

Anyway, hopefully I’ll be able to highlight some key people who are considered heroes by some in the geographical sphere. First hero post to be completed soon!

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2 Responses to Geographical Heroes – An Introduction

  1. petergknight says:

    I look forward to seeing this list develop… I use this idea or a Geography Hero as the starting point for my 1st-yr undergraduate module “The Practice of Physical Geography” at Keele. I use Nansen as my little example, and point out four of his particular attributes: curiosity about the world; careful and detailed work; determination and perseverance; clear and effective communication. I then ask the students to consider what other qualities would their own Phys Geog heroes would have and whether the students can begin to emulate any of these qualities in their own practice of Geography. When I ask the students who their own heroes are, Shackleton (one in your set, I see) usually crops up, but the list is often quite strongly dominated by TV personalities!

  2. Thanks for the comment. The idea for this came from working with 1st year undergraduates at Manchester who couldn’t really name any important geographers….Ralph Fiennes and Prince William were about their limit. I’d be interested to know if your students take on board the ideas from looking at these geographers in their own geographical practice. Good to know there are other promoting lots of different geography heroes. I will hopefully get a few more of these posted soon.

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